Friday, August 16, 2013

Papa Bear

F. Grant Peterson, our beloved Papa Bear, Grandpa Bear, or just simply "Bear" finished his earthly mission last night.  There is a hole that has been left in our lives, a great, big, bear-sized hole.  Somewhere around 40 years ago, his daughter said he was "furry, just like a bear" and a nickname was born.

Papa Bear was an incredible man who loved both God and country, fiercely.  He served as an LDS chaplain in the Army in Vietnam.  Although in the midst of danger, he never carried a gun, trusting God to protect him, and He did.  After obtaining a PhD in Mathematics, he continued to serve in the Army Reserve, eventually becoming a colonel, while also teaching accounting at BYU.  When Desert Storm came along, he was activated and once again, donned the military uniform full time for a period, counseling and comforting others in his role as chaplain. 

Bear was a brilliant man.  I don't know that he ever forgot much of anything.  An incredible pianist, he could go for years without touching the keys and then sit down and play without missing a note.  He was also an accomplished locksmith, keeping the tools of his trade in a little basement room and coming to the rescue of many friends and neighbors. 

But this pales beside what really mattered to him, his family.  His beloved "Wiess," their seven children and their spouses, and their 30 grandcubs.  Yes, he was our Papa Bear.  A man that worked hard, but quietly to provide not only for temporal needs, but spiritual needs as well.  There was never a question that Papa Bear knew God lives and that He has a plan for each of us.  He followed that plan, he kept his faith, and he taught us well. 

We'll miss you, Papa Bear.  Thanks for the counsel, the memories, the love.  Until we meet again...

He Knows You
by Alice Peterson, 
taken from thoughts shared by Papa Bear at the reunion in June

He knows you, He knows your name
He knows the way to help you all the same
He knows what He wants you to become
He knows the path, he calls and bids you come

He knows you,  you are His child
He loves you and He’ll help you all the while
Be patient when He cuts you down a bit
It's only cause He loves you and won’t quit

Like the gardener cuts the currant bush down low
He’s only pruning you to help you grow
Cutting out what blocks the light
Helping you to grow in might.

Be still child and learn to see,  
He knows just what He wants you to be
Trust his vision, feel His love,
He’s your Father up above.

I don’t  know,  what all things mean.
He does, and what sweet comfort this can bring
We each must walk the straight and narrow path
If we are ever to return at last

The mists come,  we travel through
We must hold on to what we know is true
We each will reach our own  Gethsemane
Remember that He’s there for you and me.

Be still child and learn to see,  
He knows just what He want’s you to be
Trust his vision, feel His love,
He’s your Father up  above.


  1. My thoughts are with you and your family at this time. Makes you grateful for the knowledge we have been blessed with, this was a wonderful tribute!

  2. What a beautiful and moving tribute, Rebekah. His legacy shows in the beauty and faith of your loving family.